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  #11  
Old 01-02-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

For what it may be worth and duly acknowledging the possibility that I may be a bit of a partisan sailor, I would counsel you to not let cost deter you from looking into owning a Hinckley sailboat. Unless you must have new you do not have to pay the exorbitant prices that you mentioned. There are some very nice, well-equipped used Hinckley’s available for much less and I’m sure there still will be when you’re ready to purchase. While there may be many boats that you can buy that would serve your needs well, none will have better company support than the Hinckley. Hinckley even quips that all the boats that they build are still theirs even after they are sold and if you don’t take care of them properly they’ll come and get’em and take’em back home. This loyalty to product can be very comforting; Hinckley loves their boats and will go to virtually any extreme to see that your ownership is a happy and rewarding experience. Contrary to what some may think, I can, with all frankness, say that without exception, not one Hinckley sailboat owner that I’ve met since I’ve been sailing mine, purchased their Hinckley sailboat as a “showpiece,” rather they all seemed to be knowledgeable sailors who simply wished to own and sail a well constructed, safe and comfortable sailboat that would be supported without question by the builder. And it is certain the owners who live close by me seem to have no aversion to getting their fingernails dirty.

There is one other thing that I think is important in owning and caring for a sailboat – if she doesn’t warm your heart when you’re with her or when you’re just thinking about her, then perhaps she isn’t the boat for you. It doesn’t matter who built her or how big she may be or how much she may have cost. If you can’t walk away from her without turning to take just one last loving look and you feel your heart light-up and smile when you see her again, then she’s probably the boat for you and you''ll enjoy sailing her and caring for her as you should. Cost be damned!
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

I don''t think people give enough consideration to the impact of sales numbers on price. I make my living designing and building products. When ever a new product is being developed the final pricing depends very much on the projected sales. Volume producers are able to deliver more value for your money however there are trade offs. Fortunately there are enough people around with money to burn to allow specialty producers and high end marketers to flourish as their standards often become the catalyst for improvements in production boats. Shop where your pocket book allows but don''t think for a moment that spending twice as much will get you twice as good a product. The value for money curve usually has greatly diminishing returns when you go higher up the chart.
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Old 01-02-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

Plehti, thanks I have looked at some of the swedish boats and have been impresed.
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Old 01-02-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

as a Hinckley owner (Boundless-49ft center cockpit), I totally agree. Hinckley service is not cheap, but it sure is good!!! I brought a Captain from London, England to sail her from Southwest Harbor, Maine, to Miami, Florida, and he was reluctant at first as Bondless is 28 years old and over there, the Hinckley name means nothing. Once he arrived in Maine and put eyes on her, he was very pleased and when he arrived in Miami, even more so.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

Thanks for your kind comments. As in so many things, boat design is a balancing act. You can have strong and light and cheap but you can''t have all three at once. When you look at production boats like the Beneteaus, they are biased toward thier target market, which in my opinion appears to be people who routinely sail in moderate conditions and occasionally get caught in a blow. Because these boats are also price sensitive, they are made no stronger than they have to be to meet that target market. There are very appropriate decision made that in normal service save consoiderable cost and produce an adequately strong boat. I can give you one example of this kind of trade off. At least on some models, Beneteau and Catalina have taken to gluing structural bulkheads into boats using very high tech adhesives. They also use these adhesives to glue the hull to the deck. Go to a boat show and they will rightly tell you that the plywood or fiberglass will fail long before the adhesion of these miracle glues. I believe them. Because of the amazing properties of these adhesives they can use very small contact areas to achieve the adhesive strength of traditional tabbing. In normal conditions, these glued joints should work fine. What they don''t tell you and, which in normal use probably does not matter, is that the small contact area of the adhesive does not distribute the loads over as large a contact area on the fiberglass or plywood in the same way that traditional tabbing would. By concentrating the loads it means that if there is a small void in the glued materials there is less of an opportunity for the loads to bridge across to a stronger spot. There is more likely to be a small release of bond that over time can and will spread if subjected to higher stresses.

So, in other words, in my humble opinion in normal use these production coastal cruisers will hold up just fine. BUT also in my opinion, most of these higher production cruisers are not really intended to spend weeks at a time being thrashed by 40 to 50 knot winds.

From sailing older production boats over a period of years, it is clear that over time boats loosen up. They just plain flex more as connections begin to work and small degrees of freedom of rotation become a little bit larger. Unless properly engineered for the abuses of heavy weather sailing, this process of becoming more flexible can be greatly accellerated by gettting nailed in a gale for a long period of time.

With increased flexure comes increased fatigue and a reduction in reserve strength that comes from the boat being able to distribute loads outward to larger areas.

It not a matter of whether or not these lighter production boats will sink or float. It more a matter that if abused, over time they are no longer as sturdy as one would prefer. For most of us who prefer coastal cruising, that never becomes an issue.

But if you plan to spend a lot of time offshore then you want a boat that has a little more reserve strength than you would find on one of these lighter production boats. There are maunufacturers who do seem to produce a better quality production boat at only a slightly higher price. Dehler has always struck me as being one of those companies. Halberg Rassey has that reputation (although I have not spent enough time on them to have a first hand opinion.) In this company Tartan, and Sabre come to mind as producing better quality boats for only a little more. While I have not been especially impressed with Calibers, they have tried to market themselves as producing good offshhore boats for a reasonable price.

I guess in the end this about your own sailing goals. I like coastal sailing. I like sailing into interesting and different locations and watching the coast go by. Offshore sailing did nothing for me. As a result I can get away with pretty light duty boats. (I happened to have chosen a boat with a good offshore record.) If you are planning to go offshore and really spend time out there, sooner rather than later you will be dealling with some big winds and seas, and in those kind of conditions, its nice to have a boat that is a little robust and perhaps a little more expensive under you.

Good luck
Jeff
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Difference in boat prices?

Snap and nbryce, thanks for your responses. The enthusiasm in your posts is evident and speaks very well of the company. Excuse my ignorance but I have always thought of the Hinckely SW series(and I really know nothing so I could be way off here) as true blue water cruisers rather than racer cruisers. The type of boat that I would buy when I had lots of time to do leisurely ocean passages interspersed with island hopping in the pacific or the Med. For the next 15-20 years or so I was thinking more along the lines of a boat that I would be able to do 1-2 week fast passages in, and use to sail in races that had allot of tradition to them so I could enjoy the whole race experience (like the Fastnet,the Sydney to Hobart, and the Newport Bermuda races) with a couple of like minded friends. While I would love to spend the kind of time and give the kind of personal attention to the boat that you describe it is not realistic for me for a number of reasons (at least not for the next 15-20 years) and I would have to rely on professional help for anything beyond routine maintenance.

The boat I am thinking about is not my dream boat but rather a means to an experience(experiencing the great races with great friends and making new ones and doing as many oceanic passages as we can fit in to our schedules). The dream boat will come later when I have time to fully enjoy it and give it the personal attention and care it deserves. Actually the Hinckley SW series would probably be along the right lines.
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Old 01-03-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

Thanks again Jeff for your thoughtful response.

I can see that I am going to need the help of a good buyer''s agent in this process as there are allot of technical components to it and I would rather not be at the mercy of the marketing dept.s of the boat companies.
Do you do this type of work Jeff? If not could you recommend someone for me?

Also, any book recommendations on modern yatch construction methods would be much appreciated. (I have read desirable and undesirable characteristics of Offshore yatchs).

Thanks again and have a great 2002.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

I am an architect and I am not in the boating industry these days. I do help people find boats, as a hobby but not for fee. In most cases people email me and we start a dialogue in which I am providing a ''second opinion''. There are people on this BB who I have assisted in thier search for the right boat. When it comes to actually brokering boats I leave that to the professionals and I generally have used brokers when I have had to buy a boat. Feel free to email if you want to kick this around further.

I am not exactly sure how to advise you further except that I would suggest that you spend time doing exactly what you are doing; getting sailing experience on a wide range of boats through chartering and through sailing clubs, reading, asking questions on sailing bulletin boards.

I do have very mixed feelings about ''buyers brokers''. Some clearly seem reliable and dedicated to the buyers but others have struck me as con men who have found a new racket. Because Buyer Broker''s are supposedly working for the Buyer people endow them with greater trust but they are still working for a commission like any other broker and so in my book have no real advantage over any other legitimate broker.

Finding a good broker is not always easy. I worked with a really good broker here in Annapolis when I bought my boat and he has helped me on several occasions with people who have turned to me to help them find a boat. I really do not know any brokers up on the Great Lakes where you are currently sailing.

Regards
Jeff
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

You''ve been getting a lot of great advice, but let me add one thing that hasen''t been stressed here.

Don''t think of performance and light (but strong) construction as strictly an advantage in winning races. I did over 20,000 miles in a J40. The boat was heavily modified for long distance cruising and a good bit heavier than her deisgn weight, but still performed very well. It was great to make a passage in, say, 30 hours rather than 40 hours. If you''re getting pounded, saving even an hour at sea can seem like a lot at the time. Also, boats with light ends and carbon rigs often have better motions in a seaway.

I always felt that volume production boats required a lot of (expensive) modifications for me to feel comfortable in offshore. I felt it was better to start with a boat where the design priorities were more oriented towards passagemaking to begin with. Hugh volumes in cabins without adequate handholds look great at boat shows, but try walking through the cabin in a seaway.

I''m in the process of building a Sabre 452 now. I had narrowed my search down to that or a J46. I have been impressed with the quality of Sabre''s construction and selection of components. Also, they are very nice people to deal with. Still, I have "pages" of modifications and additions to make what I consider a true passagemaker out of her. This Spring, I''ll find out if I''ve succeded.

Good luck in your journey. I hope your sailing dreams are fulfilled with the same joy as mine have been.
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Old 01-04-2002
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Difference in boat prices?

Thanks Jeff, I will have the time over the next two years to go and visit the boat yards of the manufacturers mentioned in this thread and hopefully have a sea trial of the various boats.

The next step will be to charter the ones that really pique my interest and read as much as I can about them. If you wouldn''t mind me contacting you by e-mail during this stage I would be very appreciative of your input.

Thanks again for all your help and my wife and I look forward to meeting you in person sometime during this whole process.

Best regards,
Marco
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